The general public often misunderstands Cerebral palsy and its progression. Cerebral palsy is a group of conditions that damage the brain and spinal cord. Cerebral palsy affects body movement and muscle coordination, causing a person to have difficulty performing everyday tasks like walking or talking. Here I explain some of the common symptoms associated with CP and how they progress over the years.
Initially, infants born with cerebral palsy may not show obvious physical signs of the condition. Some signs may become apparent around the age of two, while others do not become noticeable until later in life. A range of symptoms can affect people with cerebral palsy, including:
- Tremors- These tremors can start when a baby learns to hold his/her head steady, usually around six months. As the baby grows older, the tremors will usually become more noticeable. The tremors can range from mild to severe, and may be noticeable at odd times throughout the day, such as while at rest or when holding something in his hands. Tremors are harmless and usually disappear over time.
- Bradykinesia – This is a condition where muscles are slow to respond. This can lead to difficulty moving and walking. Muscles in the arms and the legs are the most affected. People with this condition will also have trouble controlling the speed and force of movement.
- Gait problems -People with cerebral palsy may experience gait problems such as taking large steps, hopping, skipping, etc. Sometimes, children walk backward rather than forwards and may stumble or have jerky movements when they walk. Gait problems in young children often improve as they grow older.
- Spasticity – This symptom causes muscles to become stiff and tight. When this happens, movement is difficult and painful. Children with spasticity may have difficulty raising their arms or legs and moving their head and neck. They can also experience stiffness in the joints of the hands and feet. Spasticity is common in young children but tends to disappear with age.
- Poor balance and coordination – Problems with balance and poor coordination make it difficult for children to perform daily activities like walking, running, and doing sports. They may also have trouble riding a bike and playing some kinds of games. However, children with cerebral palsy often develop better balance and coordination skills as they age.
- Intellectual disabilities – People with a moderate to severe case of cerebral palsy can have an intellectual disability that affects their school performance and social life. Some degree of intellectual impairment is common in children with cerebral palsy.
Does cerebral palsy get worse over time?
Whether cerebral palsy gets worse over time depends on whether your child has hemiplegia or diplegia and whether the underlying cause is congenital or due to an injury to the brain or central nervous system.
If not caused by an accident or injury, CP is considered a non-progressive disorder and is not likely to get progressively worse over time. If the cause of the CP is a brain injury, spinal cord injury, or cerebral palsy due to some type of infection in the brain, it can sometimes become progressively worse if left untreated.
If your child’s cerebral palsy symptoms do not seem to get any better, you may be concerned that the child’s condition is worsening. It is important to keep in mind that this may not be the case and that you may need to look at other factors to figure out why the symptoms are not improving.
Your doctor will be able to help you figure out what is causing the symptoms and how to address them. Keep in mind that children with CP are not doomed to a life of limited mobility and reduced independence; there are many ways in which this condition can be managed and improved upon.
A variety of different factors can cause cerebral palsy, and the exact cause of each child’s condition is different. It is important to note that medical malpractice claims involving claims of cerebral palsy can be difficult to prove, especially in situations where a child has suffered damage as a result of multiple factors. An experienced personal injury attorney can help families navigate complex legal issues related to malpractice claims and determine the best course of action for their child.
If you or someone you love has been affected by cerebral palsy or other birth injuries, you may be able to take legal action and recover compensation for your losses. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney in your area today to discuss your case and learn more about your options.